Born Days is the conceptual darkwave synth-pop project from Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist singer, songwriter, and producer Melissa Harris. Her debut full-length album My Little Dark is set to release on October 6, 2023, through AudioSport Records.
Harris explains how “Deep Empty” came to be:
“Some people have described intensely emotional or painful experiences as similar to psychedelic experiences. This song is about deep and dark feelings that always seem to try and take over my mind. I take them to task and try to eradicate them for good. This experience can take me to a psychedelic place in my brain where little ghosts and memories dance around.
I wrote this song as a little note on my phone in the middle of the night. Writing songs is sometimes the only thing that can help me get through my days, so I guess that’s why I keep making music. It’s just a thing that helps me survive on this planet. I have no idea what the songs are going to turn into when I start them. I love experimenting with sampling my vocals and turning them into synths and instruments. I like to create layers with delays and reverbs. I love to experiment with creating all kinds of sounds using samples that I manipulate and affect a million times until I don’t even know how I made them. There are tons of sounds on this record that I made by experimenting with granular and wavetable synths for hours and hours and hours. I usually pitch, stretch, and re-time synths, guitars, drum samples, or my voice to make intricate patterns and polyrhythms. I know this music may never be commercially accepted, it is very esoteric and dark. This music may not be for everyone. but I hope that the people who need it will find it. I think it can be healing music for those people who find themselves in a dark place.”
Candidly vulnerable and emotionally complex, My Little Dark is a concept album that draws inspiration from the confessional poetry of Sylvia Plath and the childlike innocence of Dr. Seuss to narrate a mystical, sci-fi, coming-of-age, adventure of a young woman trying to survive the psychological limitations she has placed on her own reality. Mystical and melancholic, Harris’s ethereal voice escapes into dark symphonic soundscapes driven by dreamy, synth-heavy polyrhythms that paint a cinematic electronic pop soundtrack soaked in moody, hazy textures.
Drawing influences from alternative, darkwave, dreampop, and goth culture, Harris plays with a sonic palette of soft, dark, and dusty tones that mix elements of grunge, post-punk, neo-psychedelia, shoegaze, and modern pop. Deeply nostalgic and profoundly personal, My Little Dark explores Harris’s struggles with mental illness, trauma, and destructive cycling. Her distinctively soft and sweet voice is saturated with otherworldly essence that explodes into apocalyptic crescendos and escapes into ghostly innocence. Harris’s songs are brilliantly enchanting and sonically dripping with haunted textures, little spirits from the ether, and dystopian landscapes that leave you longing for a more innocent and beautiful time.
My Little Dark is a project that has been several years and several thousand miles in the making. Harris began making experimental music under the name Born Days in 2017 as a way to express herself, process her memories, and heal from the complexities of trauma to reconnect with the purity and innocence that is part of the innate order of nature. After receiving critical acclaim on her first two self-released EPs from Bandcamp, Chicago Tribune, Destroy//Exist, and Audiotree, she went on to perform live sets and music festivals with globally recognized talent like Neggy Gemmy, George Clanton, Kedr Livanskiy, and Caroline Polachek.
Struggling to find a quiet place to record the new album once Covid hit the US, Harris was stricken with severe agoraphobia and debilitating anxiety. Confined to her tiny, paper-thin walled one-bedroom apartment in Chicago, she realized that recording at her home studio was no longer an option. And as the sounds of the city began to haunt every corner of her recording studio, she developed an acute sensitivity to sounds that temporarily prevented her from recording and mixing her music.
Determined to not let anything get in the way, she threw her gear in the car and spontaneously drove across the country, spending the next three months recording nearly 10 hours daily in a tiny bedroom closet in the middle of the desert. Recorded and produced between the deserts of Arizona and her home studio in Illinois, Harris takes credit as a writer, producer, singer, and key instrumentalist on guitar, bass, synths, and samplers.
My Little Dark is an existentialist love album devoted to the little ghosts and dark shadows that lurk within the hidden corners of our minds, and a beacon to carry on.
My Little Dark
Oct. 6, 2023
Pre-order it HERE
2. My Little Dark
3. Bird Song
4. Over Again
6. How To Disappear
8. Deep Empty (DMT Feelings)
10. Conscious Conscience